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Board Issues Decision in San Joaquin Tomato Growers, Inc., Case No. 2011-MMC-001

On January 13, 2015, the Board issued is decision and order in the above-entitled case.

This case arises from allegations made by Petitioner, United Farm Workers of America (UFW), that San Joaquin Tomato Growers, Inc. (SJTG) had failed to comply with the terms of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) reached via the Mandatory Mediation and Conciliation (MMC) procedures specified by the Agricultural Labor Relations Act (ALRA). The UFW initially requested that the Board order SJTG to cease and desist from violating specified articles of the CBA in addition to ordering other relief. SJTG responded with a position statement that argued that the UFW had failed to provide evidence of the alleged violations of the CBA, and if such violations had occurred, the exclusive remedy would be the grievance-arbitration procedure contained in the CBA.

The Board invited the filing of amicus briefs on a number of questions related to the matter, including whether the Board should or may order enforcement of the CBA, and what, if any, state or federal jurisprudence argues for Board intervention. The Board asked the amici to comment on whether such enforcement (if appropriate) should take the form of an order directing the parties to arbitration, and if so, what, if any, principles of exhaustion applied. The Board also asked amici to comment on the interaction (if any) of ALRA sections 1164.3(f) and 1165.

After reviewing briefs of the amici and of SJTG (the UFW’s brief was untimely filed, so the Board did not consider it), the Board found that the UFW had failed to exhaust its grievance-arbitration procedures under the CBA, and had failed to demonstrate that such procedures would be futile. Thus, the Board concluded that the UFW must seek arbitration before it could resort to any action before the Board or courts. The Board declined to take any action in the matter at this time.

See San Joaquin Tomato Growers, Inc. (2015) 41 ALRB No. 1

ALJ Issues Decision in Arnaudo Brothers, LP/Arnaudo Brothers, Inc., Case Nos. 2013-CE-028-VIS, et al.

On December 30, 2014,, Administrative Law Judge Thomas Sobel issued his decision in the above-entitled matter.

General Counsel issued a First Amended Consolidated Complaint against Respondents, Arnaudo Brothers, LP and Arnaudo Brothers, Inc., alleging that they violated the Act by threatening, or surveilling, or interrogating union supporters Noe Martinez, Rigoberto Ochoa, Javier Rojas, and Ivan Zuniga, by laying them off, and by summoning the sheriff to evict Zuniga. General Counsel also alleged that Martinez, Rojas and Ochoa made repeated attempts to be rehired after their layoffs, but Respondents unlawfully refused them rehire. Respondent Arnaudo Bros. Inc. denied that it was an agricultural employer but, for the purposes of this hearing, stipulated to joint liability should any unfair labor practice be found.

The Administrative Law Judge found that Respondents threatened and created the impression of surveillance of Martinez, Ochoa and Rojas and interrogated Martinez and Ochoa. He dismissed the allegation of interrogation concerning Martinez’s attendance at an upcoming hearing. He also found that Respondents discriminatorily laid off all four men in retaliation for their union activities, but dismissed the allegations of unlawful refusal to rehire.

See Arnaudo Brothers, LP/Arnaudo Brothers, Inc., Case Nos. 2013-CE-028-VIS, et al.

Office of Administrative Law Approves Regulations To Implement Senate Bill 126

On May 2, 2012, the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved the regulations adopted by the ALRB on April 18, 2012, implementing Senate Bill 126 and filed the approved regulations with the Secretary of State. OAL also granted the ALRB's request that the regulations go into effect immediately upon filing, therefore the regulations are now in effect. On April 18, 2012, the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB or Board) adopted regulations to implement Senate Bill 126. That bill made various changes to the Agricultural Labor Relations Act. The Board had previously held a public hearing on January 20, 2012 on the proposed regulations, hearing oral comments and accepting additional written submissions. At its scheduled February 1, 2012 public meeting the Board voted to adopt the regulations with what were considered nonsubstantive changes in response to the public comment received. While the proposed regulations were pending review by the OAL, it came to the Board’s attention that some of the changes arguably could be termed “substantive” and thus may have required a 15-comment period. Accordingly, in order to ensure complete compliance with the letter of the rulemaking requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (Gov. Code § 11340, et seq.), on March 21, 2012 the Board withdrew the rulemaking file from OAL and rescinded its February 1, 2012 adoption of the proposed regulations. The Board then issued a 15-Day Notice providing the public the opportunity to submit comment on the changes made. No comments were received.

Text of Amendments to Implement SB 126, as Adopted on April 18, 2012

Subsequent Histories Table

The Subsequent Histories Table has been updated to include Board decisions through Volume 38 (2012). The updated pages are page 40 and 41.

See Subsequent Histories Table for updated page.

2010 and 2011 Case Digest Supplements

The supplements to the ALRB Case Digest for Volume 36 (2010) and Volume 37 (2011) can be used in conjunction with the digest issued in January of 1994 and the earlier supplements previously issued.

See 2010 ALRB Case Digest Supplement and 2011 ALRB Case Digest Supplement.

Case Digest Merged

The Case Digest and its supplements through 2011 have been merged into one document.

See ALRB Case Digest.